The Ultimate Pagosa Springs Visitors Guide | 2020 Update
Located in the San Juan Basin on Colorado’s Western Slope, Pagosa Springs is the perfect setting for your next weekend getaway. You won’t have to fight large tourist crowds or book your reservations a year in advance. Rather, plan your last minute excursion and get ready to relax in the natural hot springs.
At 7,000 feet above sea level, the air is crisp and the water is hot. Pagosa Springs is home to the world’s deepest geothermal hot spring. The healing qualities of this sulphur-rich mineral spring have been documented for hundreds of years.
Today we’re sharing the “best of the best” in Pagosa Springs. It’s one of our favorite towns in Colorado and hope it becomes one of yours, too!
Pagosa Springs Weather
Choosing the right time of year to visit Pagosa Springs is pretty important. Even though it’s always the right time to relax in a mineral bath, it could be challenging to access in the heart of winter.
Even the summer in Pagosa Springs can be cool. The average low never gets above 50 degrees. We recommend visiting between April and October.
Here’s the average high & low weather temps for the year round Pagosa Springs weather.
Hot Springs & Spas in Pagosa Springs
Everyone who visits this charming mountain town should experience the natural hot spring baths. Many local spas and bath houses have access to the hot spring and pump in fresh water to their luxurious facilities every day.
Here are a few “must visit” hot spring destinations in Pagosa Springs.
The Springs Resort and Spa
Price: $30 and up for spring experience
Why You’ll Love It: The Springs Resort and Spa have it all. You can book a room at their resort, soak in the springs and walk to downtown Pagosa. The location is perfect, too. Not only is it within walking distance to everything, it’s located on the banks of the San Juan River.
There are beautiful hot spring pools outside the resort with beautiful views of the mountains and surrounding town.
What’s The Word: Rachel on Google Reviews says, “Amazing – so many pools and spots to enjoy. The river is part of the site so you can get right in, and many pools overlook it. The tiny details about the full experience were definitely considered and it creates a really immersive experience.”
Pagosa Springs Vibe: 9.1/10 Amazing experience, can get crowded…but the facility is huge.
Overlook Hot Springs Spa
Price: $16 and up
Why You’ll Love It: Overlook is very vibe-y…that’s why we enjoyed it so much. You can soak inside the spa in dimly lit, high ceiling rooms or try their private patio with multiple single person tubs. Our favorite, however, are their roof top pools that look down upon the city.
The Overlook Hot Springs Spa is much more intimate compared to the Springs Resort.
What’s The Word: Tim on Google Reviews says, “Historic old building with numerous indoor & outdoor soaking tubs. The rooftop has 2 soaking tubs and beautiful panoramic views. The prices are around half the cost of the hot springs spa across the street and a nice quiet retreat.”
Pagosa Springs Vibe: 9.5/10 Chill, rooftop hot springs!
Best Places to Eat and Drink
Once you finish your hots springs soaking session, you’ll be hungry for a big meal and ready for a cold beverage! Pagosa Springs has awesome restaurants and breweries. Best of all, the whole downtown is very walkable.
Here are the best places to eat & drink in Pagosa Springs.
Riff Raff Brewing Company
Price: $10 and up
Why You’ll Love It: Riff Raff is a Pagosa Springs staple! Their beer ranges from the El Duende Green Chile Ale (5% ABV) to a Batch No. 600 – American Imperial Stout (11.4% ABV).
Additionally, they have a big menu with all the brewery classics (nachos & burgers) and a few healthy options!
What’s The Word: Bryan on Google Reviews says, “Amazing local experience! Service was courteous and fast. Simple menu items with a very unique twist that works well. I had the lamb burger, kettle chips and beer brine pickle. Awesome! The music is upbeat yet gentle enough to carry a conversation. Really fun place with cool decorations.”
Price: $15 and up
Why You’ll Love It: Pizza makes the whole family happy! Rosie’s serves up the best pie in town. While they do serve an awesome meat lovers pizza, they also have vegetarian and vegan menu options.
Try Rosie’s between 3pm-6pm during the week for great happy hour specials on drinks and food.
What’s The Word: Ashley on Google Reviews says, “Saw a bunch of good reviews about this place so we had to try it on our way through. Definitely worth 5 stars. Great atmosphere and the food was DELICIOUS!!! The staff was great and very accommodating, friendly and absolutely wonderful”
Pagosa Baking Company & Cafe
Price: $10 and up
Why You’ll Love It: Fresh baked goods every day! Whether you want a sweet or salty treat (or both) Pagosa Baking Company has you covered. For breakfast, try a quiche or burrito. For Lunch, try a panini and soup. And, no matter what time of day you visit, you’ve gotta try their pie or cake or cinnamon rolls!
What’s The Word: Nicole on Google Reviews says, “Loved this bakery, visited everyday we were in Pagosa. They open at 7:00 AM, perfect for this early riser breakfast eater. Ample street parking that early. Place is charming and very clean. Amazing food and quality customer service. The patio was great to sit on and eat breakfast while the little one watched the traffic go by, keeping him entertained.”
Lodging in Pagosa Springs
Pagosa Springs isn’t a big town – finding great lodging options take just a little extra research. You can find a few national chains like Wyndham and Quality Inn, but they won’t give you that unique Pagosa experience.
Here are a few of our favorite Pagosa Springs Hotel options.
The Springs Resort and Spa
Price: Around $250/night
Why You’ll Love It: Not only does this resort have amazing hot spring facilities, they also have beautiful hotel accommodations. Whether traveling with your family or a romantic getaway, this resort gives you prime location and amenities.
However, it is a bit pricey.
What’s The Word: A recent Trip Advisor reviewer says, “Planned a birthday stay for my girlfriend. She was absolutely blown away with the upgrade we received and the style and upkeep of the grounds and hotel. The room was absolutely amazing. I would recommend The Springs Resort for any couples looking to get away and relax.”
Price: Around $200/night
Why You’ll Love It: True rustic Pagosa Springs experience. The log cabin vibes and surrounding mountains create the best backdrop in town. We recommend Fireside cabins as an awesome alternative to a standard hotel or resort.
What’s The Word: Jim on Google Reviews says, “This was the perfect venue for our family reunion. We rented most of the cabins and it was great to walk through village of cabins and chat and become reacquainted on front decks. The cabins are cute and immaculate, as are the grounds and the entire facility…The San Juan River flows through the property and was a source of entertainment as well as other outdoor activities provided on grounds.”
Pagosa Springs Camping
Camping in Pagosa is our favorite way to experience the town. There are a few RV parks…and, one amazing FREE campsite 7 miles from town! We’ll share both with you below:
Pagosa Riverside Campground
Price: Around $50
Why You’ll Love It: Full hook up sites on the San Juan River! That’s a great combo. Additionally, the campground is very well maintained and the staff is eager to please. If your RV doesn’t have a shower, Pagosa Riverside Campground has a central bath house for all campers.
What’s The Word: A recent reviewer on Campendium says, “At first glance, PRC may not look like much. But having stayed there over a recent weekend, I can tell you it’s a great place to spend a few days (or a month)…the real beauty here is that the San Juan River sits on the back of the property. We love to fish, so we stopped in a local fly shop, picked up some flies and fishing licenses, and caught a 10-inch rainbow back at the campground.”
Jackson Mountain Road Dispersed Camping
Why You’ll Love It: If you’re an experienced tent or RV camper who isn’t afraid to go off grid, this spot is for you. Honestly, it’s where we stay every time we visit Pagosa Springs. There are only a few spots here, and they can’t fit huge RVs – scout in advance before driving up!
Also, there’s pretty good cell connectivity at the spot. We were able to stream Netflix and make calls while camping here.
What’s The Word: A recent Campendium reviewer says, “We loved our stay at Jackson Mountain Road. The San Juan National Forest is beautiful and quiet and the sites are located only a few miles from Pagosa Springs. We loved bathing in the San Juan River, and in the downtown area there are hot springs flowing into the river and you can soak in the natural hot mineral pools for free! The road into the forest is gravel but well packed and an easy drive for our 2 wheel drive van.”
The Best Free Camping in the Entire USA
We love camping across this amazing country. And, we really love it when its free. Here’s our list of the 20 Best Free Campsites in the USA.
If you haven’t tried free camping before, also known as boondocking, take a look at our beginners guide to boondocking filled with everything you need to know to get started.
Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site! Simply enter your email below.